Garden City Bird Sanctuary

Weather Permitting, the bird sanctuary will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM until 4 PM beginning 9/26 through 11/1.

Garden City Bird Sanctuary Fall 2015 Yardsale
Date: October 17th
Rain Date: October 24th


Annual Dedication Ceremony at Garden City Bird Sanctuary

Caption:  GCBS Vice President Elizabeth Bailey welcomes the crowd.  Photo by  June Fay.

Caption:  Minister George Bashian of the Garden City Community Church offers some reflections.  The Will Sing for Food band is in the background.  Photo by June Fay.

The Garden City Bird Sanctuary held its annual dedication ceremony last Saturday, September 19th.   In this ceremony, the bird sanctuary gratefully recognized families and friends who donated a tree and/or a bench within the last year.  Elizabeth Bailey, Vice President, opened the ceremony by welcoming the donors and their families and friends.    The donors of each item were acknowledged: 
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Courtney Wilczewski by the friends of Linda Norton throughout the Garden City Public Schools.  Ms. Norton is principal of Stewart School.
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Peter Cohn by his parents Paul & Francie, brother Michael, sister Jenny, and friends.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Terry Hensley by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonel Aaron Chapter in Garden City.  Terry Hensley’s mother, June Fay, is a member of that chapter.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Charlie Koester by his family.
  • A tree and a bench were donated in memory of Stephanie and Dolores Scalchunes by William Scalchunes.
  • A tree was donated in honor of Eagle Scout Paul Szenher from his family, friends and Boy Scouts of America Troop 93.
  • A tree was donated in memory of Scoutmaster Christopher P. Miller from the Eagle Scout Project of Paul Szenher.

Andy Morreale and the Will Sing for Food band performed two songs.  (Terry Hensley had been the bass player for this group.)    Minister George Bashian of the Garden City Community Church offered some reflections and provided an opportunity for friends and family members to recount their own personal memories.  To close the ceremony, Minister Bashian read a prayer and the band and attendees sang “In the Bulb There Is a Flower”, a hymn by Natalie Sleeth.


The girls of Daisy Troop 1362 recently visited the Garden City Bird
Sanctuary.  They filled several types of birdfeeders.  Several "standard" feeders and a squirrel-proof feeder were filled with sunflower seed; a finch feeder was filled with nyjer seed; a suet feeder was filled with a suet "cake," and a hummingbird feeder was filled with nectar.  Along with these feeders, a number of homemade feeders were also placed in trees.   The birds of the sanctuary had a feast after the girls went home!

Winterfest 2016 will take place on Saturday, January 9th starting at 4 PM.

By John W. Cronin,
 President of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center

 On January 10, 2015, the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Environmental Center (GCBS/TPEC) will be celebrating its seventh annual Winterfest. It’s a holiday unique to us and our supporters. Deep in significance and rich in symbolism, Winterfest is there as a reminder that we, who are involved in this ecological endeavor, do so out of an interest/talent of the head, heart, or hands. There have been whole books dedicated to leadership styles based on the head, heart, and hands; but the principles apply most aptly to those who volunteer to make their little corner of the world a better place.
Our Founder, past president, and current member on the Board of Directors, Mr. Rob Alvey, turned a nine-acre storm water basin full of junk into a shining jewel of environmental stewardship. He has the gift of leading with head, heart and hands. He then inspired the rest of us to follow, bringing our talents to sustain what he started. However, everyone does not have talents in all three areas, like Rob Alvey.
When you’re a volunteer leading with your head, you realize the importance of environmental stewardship and use your God-given gift of intelligence in thinking of various ways to raise funds and brainstorm ideas for solving our problems. You rely on the professional knowledge of yourself and others to find unique ways of keeping the dream alive. Those on the Board of Directors, like me, contribute to setting a vision and can run meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order. The “nuts and bolts” of legal requirements and filing paperwork are top on the agenda of helping.

Volunteers leading with their heart love our work fervently. After a vision has been established, they eagerly set out to spread the word and invite others to join. Their passion is contagious and inspires people. They volunteer to help out at various functions, like Halloween Fest, and encourage everyone to attend. You can find them at most of our events.
Those who give with the gift of their hands serve happily by getting those same hands dirty. They can be seen planting, building, watering, etc. What the head conceives and the heart inspires, the hands bring to fruition by doing the “dirty work.”  We have volunteers who have one or more of these three great talents to share, and they are the reason we still thrive. The GCBS/TPEC will celebrate its twenty year anniversary in 2015, and it’s all thanks to our wonderful volunteers. Rob Alvey is one of those rare individuals who can lead with head, heart and hands. Winterfest was founded in 2009 because Rob inspired those of us on the Board of Directors to honor the men and women, just like Rob, who make all worthwhile endeavors a reality and sustain them over the years.

  It is my honor to invite all who wish to be there to the seventh annual Winterfest, the GCBS/TPEC’s own holiday that celebrates these wonderful characteristics and our supporters; “people of good will” is a phrase you will hear quite a lot at our ceremonies!
Winterfest begins at 4 p.m. as twilight approaches. As our supporters file in, there is warm coco to drink as we fill the birdfeeders and put up some decorations for our fine feathered friends. About 4:30 p.m., we have a poem recitation around our newly planted trees. Then we culminate the event with our Candle-lighting Ceremony in which we have the “Great Telling.” Just as some Native Americans have a ceremony that describes the history of their tribe, the Directors tell the story of the GCBS and Winterfest itself. Each Director tells a part of the story. During the ceremony we will publicly honor one or two of our outstanding helpers and then remember with gratitude both the persons who dedicated trees in 2014 for someone special (either in honor or in memoriam) and those people for whom they were planted.
At Winterfest we also remember the past year’s accomplishments and dream of the ones to come in 2015. We celebrate Winterfest in the middle of the gloomiest time of the year when the days are short, the nights are bitter cold, and nature sleeps in the seeming throes of death. Why? Because our message of hope is “All Winters Must Come to an End.”  Not only will the seasonal winter pass to a new springtime of life, but the various “winters” in our lives will also pass. The winter of health problems, financial worries, relationship problems, work related problems—all these “winters” will eventually end. The great religions of the world tell us that the winter of death itself is not the end of us, but a passing into a new life. As long as we donate our talents to the best of our God-given ability to make the world a better place, things will work out. Winterfest is an opportunity for a communal hope that things will be better this coming year and allows people to focus on what unites us, rather than divides us.
​Winterfest shall take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the front gate of the GCBS opposite 181 Tanners Pond Road regardless of the weather. The event is free and open to the general public. Hope to see you all there with heads, hearts, and hands united!

A brief bit of news - with a video link from FIOS TV on the GC Bird Sanctuary

Since you've been following the "news" on the development of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary/Tanners Pond Env Center and Arboretum, you might like to see the video (about 5 minutes) shown on FIOS TV this month about the volunteer work we do.  
Thanks again for your interest and support!  Please remember to "rejoin!" The funds DO make a difference.

 Photo caption: Claire Werner selling items at the Bird Sanctuary Spring Yard Sale.  Photo by Suzie Alvey.

SUMP-thing's Happening!
Bird Sanctuary,
Sep 14, 2015, 6:33 PM
Bird Sanctuary,
Sep 14, 2015, 6:34 PM